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De-Stress with Art Therapy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Navigating through college can be a difficult journey. Not only are you supposed to start “adulting,” but somehow also balance the lifestyle of being a college kid. We often have to handle a full course load, football games, a part time job, clubs/activities and an internship. Stress can be a common factor in our lives. Now, many people have their own way of dealing with stress, but one way that can be utilized is art therapy. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a practice often used in mental health facilities to allow people “to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, develop social skills, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.”

Often times when people think art, they think that you have to be born with creativity in order to produce something amazing, but honestly, if you think you’re creative, then you are. It’s time to rid yourself of the doubt and stop telling yourself, “I’m not creative like Sally is” because, sorry to burst your bubble, but you most certainly are just as creative! Remember that 5-year-old version of yourself, the carefree spirit that may have occasionally colored outside the lines just because you thought it looked better that way. That version of yourself knew the truth and is fighting for you to believe it again too. As kids, we weren’t afraid of being wrong because, in our eyes, everything was beautiful. Never be afraid of what you can create, but also, never force yourself into creating. Try to free yourself of any thoughts and merely just feel. Let your emotions guide you and just go for it. Anything that you create is not wrong; art allows us to express ourselves. Being wrong is impossible when creating art.

From personal experience, I can say that creating something can help you work through emotions as well allow you to become self-aware. You can get a look at who you are when you simply allow yourself to create something. Recently, I had been looking at things in a negative way and it became such a heavy feeling that I was in a funk and felt exhausted constantly. The stress of my life was getting to me and, instead of dealing with it, I would ignore it. I decided to paint and try to release all my tension. This was the result…

Courtesy: Kirsten Kennedy

Being able to paint out my feelings allowed me to relax my anxiety and, by next day, the positivity was flowing. I was filled with so much happiness and my self-esteem was at an all-time high—I was sexy and I knew it! I encourage you to let your emotions free and allow your creativity to flow. Take a trip to Michael’s, pick up some art supplies and go for it! Dare to be bold and don’t be afraid to be wrong. Next time you’re stressed out, look to expressing it with art instead of dwelling on it and living in a negative bubble. Create something beautiful and watch the positive effects it will have on your mood and outlook on life. Allow art to let you feel.

I am currently a junior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing and Media. I have a passion for fashion and I love all things pop culture. After graduating I hope to pursue a career in journalism as for now I am simply trying to balance: school, work, having a social life and when I can sleep! I'm taking each day as it comes, and enjoying this journey that is life.
Her Campus at Florida State University.